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December 04 2010

(SPOILER) From Script to Page: Buffyfest goes behind the scenes for Buffy Season 8 #39. "A rare look at a portion of the first draft from the now infamous issue #39, written by Joss Whedon and Scott Allie. Scott takes us behind the scenes of the writing process and shares a few initial pages from the script along with some of his thoughts."

It's interesting to see that in the initial draft, Giles had intended to kill Angel with the Scythe rather than destroy the Seed. I would like to know why SA decided to change that for the final draft.
Was that not the intention in the final comic either? I thought that for the most part they were all persuaded by Willow to protect the glowy thing and then Giles was going to do his wetworks sort of "Ben is Glory" thing.

Also yeah though, I really wish there were more script since some of the art I really wasn't sure what they were trying to convey in some of the action sequences. (like the dragon--I'm assuming a baddie though I was sort of leaning Angel's Cordy most of the time until killed by a root-- it frying some things mid-battle, and I wasn't clear if that was meant to only kill the slayers or if it was trying to destroy everything. (And the demons with clockwork wings were supposed to be on which side? The Master's minions or the void? And they were incapacitated or left unharmed?)
In an interview, I believe that SA said that Giles was trying to destroy the Seed.

Also, if you look at the panel, Giles faces the Seed with Scythe in hand as if getting ready to smash it while Angel comes up behind him before delivering the coup de grace.

[ edited by jettamesis on 2010-12-05 00:24 ]
Huh, I think the end result was best. But as he says, it's only a draft and it was so Georges had something to draw. I wish they did this for every issue, i love to see the creative process.
Just got back from my cousins wedding so I'm just seeing the Buffyfest behind the scenes with the early draft script right now.I always get a kick out of seeing or learning about early drafts of scripts and such.
jettamesis, I wasn't sure what Giles was doing based on the conflict between the art and what he was saying in the comic either. He says something about having to stop Angel... then runs at the orb with the scythe... Oh well.
Giles had to stop Angel from getting the Seed. He knew that Buffy would do anything to avoid killing Angel, knowing that he was under the influence of Twilight, so giving her the Scythe wasn't a good option. The two were at a stalemate fighting each other. That basically left destroying the Seed as Giles' only option rather than letting it fall into Angel's hands should he even get a momentary advantage over Buffy. He hoped to do so while the two were occupied fighting each other, but Angel managed to intercept him and kill him.
I don't understand why they couldn't give Giles's death a full page like they intended in the first draft. In the final layout, it feels almost incidental.
Yeah I got what Giles was attempting after rereading it, but I just felt it was clumsily handled. I'm still mixed about how I feel on Giles death on the whole, to be honest.
I think Scott Allie's comment on the original script page shows why it ended up being clumsily handled. They changed the reason that Giles entered the room with the seed, but only half-changed the scene and the dialogue. Quite a lot of it now doesn't make sense and it created a lot of plot holes that wouldn't have existed if they'd stuck with their original intention.

[ edited by NotaViking on 2010-12-05 14:57 ]
There is something incredibly irresistible about raw scripts. I love seeing the way the writers talk to their artists (or actors), and imagining being the one to read this and think about how to bring it to life. What did it feel like for Jeanty when he saw "Giles dies"? Did he immediately visualize it? Was it more emotional for him than it was for us, because he's so practiced at visualizing scenes based on a few words rather than an explicit illustration?

Also loved Allie's comments on the writing process. I enjoyed seeing more of Buffy's thoughts when she first faced Twilight/Angel, but it was obvious that they were redundant and had to go. The first cut is the deepest.
Good stuff, I haven't seen anything like this since that Dark Horse feature on issue 3.
@Simon I love that feature on Dark, seeing how the comics start out to what we get on the page is always fun. Plus Joss' writing is always so funny too read in script form
Simon, sorry to burst your bubble, but that link seems to lead to an empty page.
Not for me It doesn't. :)
Blueskies, I'm having the same problem at work. Right-click in the middle of the empty page and then click 'play'. Or alternatively go to
I don't understand why they couldn't give Giles's death a full page like they intended in the first draft. In the final layout, it feels almost incidental.

@zoinkers, Joss seems to like avoiding big death scenes, perhaps because that's more like real life. Anya and Wash come immediately to mind. On the one hand I get what he's doing there; on the other, I think the human spirit needs grand heroic death scenes in its myths, in a Joseph Campbellian sort of way.

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